Neurological outcome in a porcine model of descending thoracic aortic surgery. Left atrial-femoral artery bypass versus clamp/repair.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: In a porcine model of thoracic aortic cross-clamping (AoXC), we compared the incidence and severity of paraplegia with two surgical techniques: left atrial-femoral artery (LA-FA) bypass (BP group; n = 9) and clamp/repair (CR group; n = 8). The descending thoracic aorta was clamped near its origin and distal to the third intercostal artery for 30 minutes. The intervening three intercostal arteries were ligated and divided. METHODS: All animals received methohexital anesthesia and were hyperventilated to a Paco2 of 28 to 32 mm Hg. Animals in the CR group received mannitol, and after AoXC, proximal hypertension was controlled with phlebotomy. In the BP group, proximal hypertension was controlled with LA-FA bypass using a centrifugal pump (Biomedicus 520C). Proximal mean arterial pressure, distal mean arterial pressure, central venous pressure, and cerebrospinal fluid pressure were measured; radioactive microspheres were injected at baseline, at AoXC + 5 minutes, at AoXC + 20 minutes, at AoXC off + 5 minutes, and after resuscitation. Neurological function was assessed at 24 hours. The animals were killed, and the spinal cord was removed to determine spinal cord blood flow. Histological cross sections of the lumbar spinal cord were stained with cresyl violet/acid fuchsin and then examined with light microscopy to determine the ratio of altered to total spinal cord neurons. RESULTS: Fifteen animals survived (one death in each group) and were assessed neurologically at 24 hours after AoXC. Despite better distal perfusion and lumbar spinal cord blood flow in the BP group, during AoXC, and at AoXC off + 5 minutes, there was no significant difference in the severity of spinal cord ischemic injury between groups as assessed neurologically by Tarlov score (P = .90, Mann-Whitney U test). As well, the ratio of altered to total lumbar spinal cord neurons did not differ between groups (P = .24). CONCLUSIONS: In this chronic porcine model, distal circulatory support with LA-FA bypass afforded better distal perfusion and improved lumbar spinal cord blood flow but did not influence the severity of spinal cord ischemic injury when compared with a clamp/repair technique.
Maharajh, GS; Pascoe, EA; Halliday, WC; Grocott, HP; Thiessen, DB; Girling, LG; Cheang, MS; Mutch, WA
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